Sanna Goyert

Medical Professor

Main Affiliation

CUNY School of Medicine


Marshak Science Building





Sanna Goyert


Dr. Sanna M. Goyert is a Medical Professor at the CUNY School of Medicine / Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education and the former Chair of the Department of Pathobiology (aka Microbiology and Immunology). Previously she was an Associate Professor of Medicine and Pathology at New York University School of Medicine and Director of the Laboratory of Innate Immunity at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research at North Shore-LIJ Health Systems in Manhasset, New York.

Dr. Goyert is an internationally renowned scientist studying innate immune mechanisms of defense against bacterial pathogens and innate immune receptors in neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Goyert has published more than 100 research papers and book chapters and is a former recipient of the prestigious Stohlman Scholars award from the Leukemia Society of America. She has been continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for 26 years. Dr. Goyert began her research career by producing monoclonal antibodies that she used to identify and characterize a membrane protein that was at that time a new, second class of HLA antigens that she named HLA-DS for HLA-D-region, Second locus and that was subsequently renamed by WHO as HLA-DQ, currently a very well-known and important family of HLA antigens. These molecules are important not only in transplantation, but also in contributing to the susceptibility to autoimmune diseases. She further used these antibodies to define polymorphisms in HLA-DQ. The identification of HLA-DQ was a breakthrough in this area, particularly since other leaders in this field thought, at the time, that while mice had two Class II antigen families, humans only had 1 family. HLA-DQ is now a major antigen required for matching for transplants; some members of this family also show important correlations in susceptibility to autoimmune diseases.  

Dr. Goyert’s second major research accomplishment was the identification of a human gene known as CD14 that plays a prominent role in a disease called septic shock that kills more than 500,000 Americans annually. Dr. Goyert's seminal work showed that mice genetically engineered to lack the CD14 gene are resistant to septic shock caused by E. coli. Dr. Goyert holds two major patents associated with her work on innate immunity that are currently licensed to several companies aiming to further the therapeutic potential of these discoveries.

Dr. Goyert's current work focuses on investigating the role of innate immune receptors in the brain and their functional contribution to neurodegenerative diseases.


Ph.D.,   1983, New York University School of Medicine, New York, NY

B.S.,     1968, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio

Current Research Interests

  • Role of innate immune receptors in neurodegenerative diseases
  • Identification and functional role of the interaction of innate immune receptors with endogenous ligands
  • Continuing studies of innate immune receptors in severe infection

Representative Publications

Identification and characterization of HLA-DQ (HLA-DS):

  1. Goyert SM, Silver J. Isolation of I-A subregion-like molecules from subhuman primates and man. Nature. 1981 Nov 19;294(5838):266-8. PubMed PMID: 6795511.
  2. Goyert SM, Shively JE, Silver J. Biochemical characterization of a second family of human Ia molecules, HLA-DS, equivalent to murine I-A subregion molecules. J Exp Med. 1982 Aug 1;156(2):550-66. PubMed PMID: 6808075; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2186769.
  3. Goyert SM, Silver J. Further characterization of HLA-DS molecules: implications for studies assessing the role of human Ia molecules in cell interactions and disease susceptibility. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1983 Sep;80(18):5719-23. PubMed PMID: 6193521; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC384330.

Identification of CD14 and role in severe infection:

  1. Goyert SM, Ferrero E, Rettig WJ, Yenamandra AK, Obata F, Le Beau MM. The CD14 monocyte differentiation antigen maps to a region encoding growth factors and receptors. Science. 1988 Jan 29;239(4839):497-500. PubMed PMID: 2448876.
  2. Ferrero E, Goyert SM. Nucleotide sequence of the gene encoding the monocyte differentiation antigen, CD14. Nucleic Acids Res. 1988 May 11;16(9):4173. PubMed PMID: 2453848; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC336598.
  3. Ferrero E, Hsieh CL, Francke U, Goyert SM. CD14 is a member of the family of leucine-rich proteins and is encoded by a gene syntenic with multiple receptor genes. J Immunol. 1990 Jul 1;145(1):331-6. PubMed PMID: 1694207.
  4. Ferrero, E, Jiao D, Tsuberi BZ, Tesio L, Rong GW, Haziot A, and Goyert SM. 1993. Transgenic mice expressing human CD14 are hypersensitive to lipopolysaccharide. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 90:2380-2384. PubMed PMID:7681594 PMCID: PMC46090
  5. Haziot A, Ferrero E, Köntgen F, Hijiya N, Yamamoto S, Silver J, Stewart CL, Goyert SM. Resistance to endotoxin shock and reduced dissemination of Gram-negative bacteria in CD14-deficient mice. Immunity. 1996 Apr;4(4):407-14. PubMed PMID: 8612135.
  6. Haziot, A, Hijiya N, Gangloff SC, Silver J, and Goyert SM. 2001. Induction of a novel mechanism of accelerated bacterial clearance by lipopolysaccharide in CD14-deficient and Toll-like receptor 4-deficient mice. J Immunol 166:1075-1078. PubMed PMID: 11145687
  7. Metkar S, Awasthi S, Denamur E, Kim KS, Gangloff SC, Teichberg S, Haziot A, Silver J, Goyert SM. Role of CD14 in responses to clinical isolates of Escherichia coli: effects of K1 capsule expression. Infect Immun. 2007 Nov;75(11):5415-24. PubMed PMID: 17709409; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC2168279.
  8. Metkar S, Kim KS, Silver J, Goyert SM. Differential expression of CD14-dependent and independent pathways for chemokine induction regulates neutrophil trafficking in infection. J Leukoc Biol. 2012 Aug;92(2):389-96. PubMed PMID: 22591691; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3395416.

Complete List of Published Work in My Bibliography: